At the launch of ‘Where We Are’ in Mullingar Library (back from left) Maksym Zinko, Tatyana Kovaleva, Emma O’Brien, Jurgita Stuckaite, Vitale Kravenchenko and Danys Ushakov; (front) Frieda Coady and Maxim Kravenchenko.

‘Where We Are’ photo exhibition crosses bridge from Mullingar to Ukraine

‘Where We Are’, a photography exhibition showcasing work by members of the Ukraine community in Mullingar Library, explores the participants’ new community in Mullingar, alongside archival images of their home country. The exhibition is the fruit of workshops held over the summer with Emma O’Brien and supported by Westmeath Arts and Creative Ireland.

Emma is an artist from Tyrrellspass who is based in Mullingar. She told the Westmeath Examiner that the exhibition was “a great success”.

“We had a big audience from the Ukraine community along with some Irish and other nationalities. Photographers Tatyana, Vitale, Maksym and Maxim spoke about their work, with translation by Eliza Ushakov. Maxim, our youngest member at just 10 years of age, spoke in two languages to discuss his photos!”

Photographer Maksym Zinko feels that “photography is a powerful tool for storytelling and building community bonds”.

“In the workshops, we learned the art of photography, supported by an experienced mentor. As newcomers, we formed a tight-knit group, inspiring and encouraging each other.

“It was amazing to see our images spark conversations and emotions. These real moments we captured became a bridge between our Ukrainian community and our Irish neighbours, fostering deeper connections and cultural understanding,” said Maksym.

At the launch, Emma spoke about the purpose of the workshops. “This exhibition is the result of workshops we held in May, June and July for members of the new Ukrainian community in Mullingar. The aim of the workshops was to teach skills of documentary photography while exploring the community, through photo walks and group discussions.

“We decided to include archival photos of Ukraine – each member chose from their own collection – to introduce the local Mullingar community to a taste of Ukrainian, culture, food, architecture and landscape,” said Emma.

Emma thanked all the participants and extended a special thanks to Jurgita Coady for her help with organising, communicating and translating for Emma. She thanked the Westmeath Arts Office, Creative Ireland, and the staff at Mullingar Library for their support. She added thanks to Forus Training and the Greville Arms Hotel for the use of their training rooms and function rooms to deliver the workshops.

The ‘Where We Are’ photography exhibition is on display in Mullingar Library until September 29.

Ukraine photographer Vitale Kravenchenko at the launch of ‘Where We Are’ in Mullingar Library.
Ukraine photographer Tatyana Kovaleva at the launch of ‘Where We Are’ in Mullingar Library.
Workshop facilitator Emma O’Brien with Ukraine photographer Tatyana Kovalela.
Ukraine photographer Maksym Zinko discusses his work at the launch of ‘Where We Are’.
Ten-year-old Maxim Kravenchenko with his photographs.